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March 16, 2018

Internet Speeds: How Can I Make Sure I’m Getting What I’ve Paid For?

A man sat at a desk worrying about his slow internet speeds

Poor internet speeds are a nightmare.

There is nothing more infuriating than when you are trying to watch Netflix and it keeps buffering. At the very least your long-awaited season finale is ruined – at the very worst you are on the verge on throwing your TV out the window.

Bad Internet connections are one of the biggest causes of headaches (not an actual fact, but we’re pretty sure it’s true!). No one should have to suffer the embarrassment of trying to show off the hilarious cat video you’ve been raving about, only for Youtube to not load.

But even worse than the buffer is the battle with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) over where the blame lies.

Slow Internet can be caused by a number of different issues – a defective router, a bandwidth hog, a fault on the ISP’s line – but it can be notoriously hard for the average homeowner, and even the ISP, to discover the route of the problem, let alone prove it.

So we armed our network troubleshooting device, Fingbox, with the tools you need to conquer the slow down!

Poor Internet Speeds: Finding the Problem

Your home network is exactly what is says on the tin: a network of connections between the Internet and your devices.

A problem on any one of these devices, or the connections between them, can cause your Internet connection to slow down. So, when you are trying to find the cause of the issue you need to go through a process of elimination.

The best way to do this is to start testing from the ISP network, and work your way across to your network and devices, until you find the weak link.

See our guide on how to troubleshoot and get to the bottom of your slow internet speeds using Fingbox’s dedicated network troubleshooting tools.

How To Know When Your ISP is Responsible for Your Slow Internet Speeds

There are two ways that your ISP could be responsible for your slow internet speeds.

1. A Fault on the ISP’s Line or Servers

The first is that there could be a problem with ISP’s infrastructure. This fault could be on the line between their servers and your home, or even on the servers themselves.

This sort of problem impacts the speed of the internet before it’s even reached you. If you are getting poor results in your internet speed tests this is likely the problem.

2. A Defective or Inadequate Router

If you have been provided a router by your ISP, the second cause of the slow internet could be the router itself. A poor quality or faulty router this will impact the WiFi signal, making it too weak to support all your IoT.

If your Internet speed tests are fine, but your WiFi speed tests are low this could be the cause of your slow internet.

Gotcha! Now to Prove It to Your ISP

So you’ve discovered that the fault of your slow Internet speeds lies with your ISP and you are ready for vengeance. Or at least to have a polite chat with your ISP about how it can be fixed.

a man complaining to his isp about his internet speeds

Although it can sometimes feel your ISP is working against you, the reality is that it can be difficult for them to see that there is a problem with your Internet, let alone what the cause of it is. Concrete evidence from you will help them target the problem and deal with it faster.

So before you ring up your ISP make sure you are prepared. Like any great detective, you need to have all the facts and evidence water tight and ready to present.

The Evidence You Need to Prove Your Slow Internet Speeds

Fingbox makes gathering your evidence easy for you! See below where you can get the evidence from in your Fingbox for the two ways ISP faults.

1. A Fault on the ISP’s Line

With Fingbox it is very quick and easy to gather the evidence of your ongoing problem with the internet speed.

Scheduled speed tests are set by default on Fingbox, but if you have removed them, start by visiting the Internet Speed test feature in the Fingbox dashboard and setting scheduled speed tests.

Once you have these set up you can then select to receive an email report for the current or previous month, showing how your Internet performed during that time.

a screeshot of a Fingbox internet speed performance report

This report contains your overall average Internet speeds for the month, as well as a summary of any downtime and a breakdown of your daily Internet performance. Everything you need to back up your case!

2. A Faulty or Inadequate Router

Unlike the Internet Speed Test, which is best performed by a wired device, the nature of a WiFi Speed Test means you have to connect a device wirelessly to the router to perform the test. This sadly means that Fingbox, as a wired device, is not able to perform automated WiFi speed tests.

However, you can still get all the evidence you need from Fingbox’s on-demand WiFi Speed Test. Simply stand next to the router and perform a WiFi speed test. Every test you run will go into a log, allowing you to show you ISP how your WiFi is consistently performing poorly.

What Will My ISP Do About My Slow Internet Speeds?

Well unfortunately we cannot make any promises on behalf of your ISP, but at the very least we would hope they would fix it!

For a problem with your router it should be as simple as either sending you a replacement or upgrading you to a newer version.

With a fault in the line your ISP would need to send our engineers to investigate where the weakness is and then fix it. This may take a bit of time but could result in completely fixing all your slow internet woes.

Since launching this new Internet performance reporting feature we have been very happy to see Fingbox users being able to finally achieve results with their ISPs.

So, don’t put up with that those terrible Internet speeds anymore. Get testing with your Fingbox and get on the phone to your ISP!

Don’t own a Fingbox? Arm yourself today with our home network security and troubleshooting device! Fix your slow Internet and much much more…

Ava Pierro
Ava Pierro
Content Marketing Manager at Fing